Skyrim EP8: Mammoth Cheese Bowl

By Josh
on Feb 21, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

Dear everyone: I know Josh’s shenanigans are pretty hilarious. Please continue to encourage him. We don’t have to finish Skyrim this decade. There are more important things in life.


Link (YouTube)

Fun fact: My microphone sounded a lot worse in this episode before I muted everything above the 4 kHz range. Imagine my voice being replaced by the screech of a thousand angry bats attacking Rutskarn because they can’t stand his puns.

Except, like, worse than normal.

We never did figure out what happened. After I stopped recording at the end of this episode I adjusted my microphone slightly (far less of an adjustment than I’d made several times during the episode, mind) and suddenly it was fine. It’s yet to revert to this bizarre, barely functional state since.

My set up is weird. Have we mentioned that?

Anyway, since I didn’t mention my pick for “beefiest beefcake” in the episode, I’ll take this opportunity to point out it’s oh so clearly one of the Greybeards. What isn’t beefier than a bunch of really really really old wrinkly dudes that live on a mountain, never bathe, and don’t talk because they’ve dedicated their lives to learning an ancient and powerful form of offensive spellcasting while simultaneously being totally lame pacifists? Am I right?

Most people would go for an obvious pick like Arngeir, but Borri’s the wild one. I mean, did you see him that one time he shouted “Bex!”? The beefiest.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!13213 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. Amnestic says:

    My first marriage was to a young lass named Muiri. We met when she hired the Dark Brotherhood and it was love at first murder. Sadly, she didn’t seem interested in performing murders herself and left me to do all the heavy killing. I feel like I settled.

    I wanted to marry Lisette, one of the bards in Solitude, ‘cos she seemed like she’d be up for a bit of adventure to get new stories and stuff, but sadly t’was not to be.

    • Gravebound says:

      I married Ghorza gra-Bagol, the Markarth blacksmith, because the game wouldn’t let me marry Ingun Black-Briar or Sapphire…but my favorite is still Ahnassi in Morrowind. :P

    • I’m a hopeless non-romantic for Bethesda and Bioware game pairings. I’m too busy trying to destroy things to get married, usually. Maybe if I play through again with Hearthfire, that’ll change.

      And now I’m wondering if Bethesda will add romance options to the Fallout series? The ones in Fallout 2 had… interesting results.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        Fallout: New Vegas had companion romances on the table at some point in its development, but they ended up being scrapped.

        One of them apparently would have involved the male!Courier and Cass getting hopelessly drunk together, and later waking up to find The King pronouncing them man and wife.

        • Humanoid says:

          Not too long ago Obsidian ruled out romances from Pillars of Eternity – that, coupled with a number of interviews over the years from Chris Avellone and his position on the subject, means if anything they’re drifting further away from the idea.

          • Well, it’s not a deal-breaker for me. And I’ve seen loads of mods that allow… well, it’s kind of like romance, but I get the feeling that even the graphics engine isn’t comfortable with the result. I suppose that fits the setting, but still…

          • aldowyn says:

            I just finished reading a NWN2 LP where the author seemed to think that Avellone purposely sabotaged the romances in that game because he hates sappy, happily-ever-after (read: Bioware) romances. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard similar thoughts elsewhere.

            All in all, I don’t mind.

            • False Prophet says:

              Was happily-ever-after typical of oldschool Bioware games? Whatever the many faults of romance in Mass Effect and Dragon Age, happily-ever-after doesn’t seem a likely outcome. I think at their best DA:O romances end with a moment of respite before the hostility of Thedas or its politics rear their ugly heads again.

              • Amnestic says:

                I don’t think Dragon Age: Origins (2009) gets to count as Old School yet.

                There was definitely Happy Ever After options for the romances in Baldur’s Gate 2. Not sure if all, but at least some of them. KotOR1…sort of? It gave the impression of a Happy Ever After until KotOR2 came along. I don’t even remember if there were romances in Neverwinter Nights 1. I’m pretty sure Jade Empire had Happy Ever After options.

              • aldowyn says:

                Well, I suppose the romances themselves end up pretty well?

                Obsidian romances, when they’re there at all (they tend to be one of the first things to get cut) are utter trainwrecks.

                • Thomas says:

                  I liked Visas Marr/Exile, Atton/Exile and Handmaiden/Exile. Admittedly it’s hard to tell if the Marr thing is even a romance.

                  And in terms of Chris Avellone, I actually really enjoyed Annah/Nameless-One.

                  The Alpha Protocol romances didn’t really stick with me. But Thorton/SIE was entertaining at least and Mina/Thorton wasn’t atrocious, although Madison was forgettable.

                  So I wouldn’t describe them as train wrecks. But I do like that the relationships aren’t so straightforward in Obsidian games. It’s a shame to do away with then completely but I like that it’s less of ‘pick which of our selection of characters you’re going to bed’

                  I’m not saying everyone doesn’t have interesting backstories in Mass Effect, just that the achievements you get aren’t ‘find out about Jack’s tortured past’ and when people talk about ME, who you’re going to hook up with is always a huge conversation point

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hordes of the underdark had pretty funny romances,especially because once you learn their real names,you could order your companions to unquestionably love you.You could also screw them up in other ways as well.Because why wouldnt you?

    • Viktor says:

      There is a maid in Solitude, Erdi, who always stopped my female adventurers to talk about how much she admired her, wanted to join her on the road, and would love to share a campfire with me. The fact that she isn’t marriable is idiotic.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I’ve pretty much only married Aela the Huntress. She’s a useful support companion since her skill with the bow keeps her from getting in my way.

      Although I will say that her becoming such an obedient housewife is CREEPY!

    • The Rocketeer says:

      So, uh, about marriage…

      I had just done a quest in which you help two folks get hitched, and I was wearing around the Amulet of Mara, more out of curiosity than anything. I never knew you could get married in Skyrim, and thought, “Well, let’s see where this goes.”

      So after a few days in-game go by without anyone interesting apparently being “marryable,” I was selling off some stuff to the blacksmith in Riften, and saw he had a conversation option I hadn’t seen before, which I clicked because I thought it was a new quest or something.

      The response I got was roughly, “Yeah, I really fancy you too, to tell the truth. Wanna get hitched, tough guy?”

      I mumbled out something along the lines of it not being a good time for me what with the dragons and the questing and whatnot, and beat feet out of town, eager to blast some draugr to wash away the feeling of not only accidentally proposing to someone, but finding out that they’ve apparently been stifling butterflies everytime I rolled by to sell off my latest load of bandits’ belongings.

      But you know, I never went back to Skyrim after completing the main quest, so with Alduin vanquished, and the war settled, and the Dragonborn already owning a swanky lakeside pad in Rifton… Maybe, just maybe, the Dohvakiin and the Blacksmith are out there somewhere, riding tandem bicycles, forging armor as a team, boating around the lake on summer days…

      • Zerotime says:

        Balimund! I got married to him, but it was… weird.

        Playing as a Khajiit thief, I’d usually roll into town just before midnight, covered in blood and carrying three hundred kilos of stolen heirlooms. I’d then disappear into the sewers for a few hours, return home stinking of effluent, and fire up the enchanting table and alchemy lab simultaneously. Then I’d stagger out to the forge wearing a glowing, mismatched set of armour and with my eyes pointing in different directions, spend the remaining hours until dawn rubbing a demonic bow against a grindstone.

        Eventually his sarcastic greeting of “hello, my beloved” got on my nerves and I moved to Solitude without telling him.

        Breaking into his house once a week to steal his stock of iron ingots got super awkward after that, I can tell you.

    • Hal says:

      Most of my characters marry Mjoll the Lionness (or “honor sword lady” to Mumbles.) There’s a bug that renders her unkillable, so she’s a great combat partner. Even better, she has much, much more commentary available compared to any other companion, so you won’t get tired of her talking as fast as the others.

      My thief/assassin character married Ysolda in Whiterun. Why? Because she runs a drug-smuggling ring with you. It seemed like a good pairing.

    • Entropy says:

      I married Sylgia. She was a miner, and a pretty buff dude.

  2. hborrgg says:

    Dwemer dungeons yeah were pretty annoying if only due to their length. Falmer are pretty neat though. They are tough but I really like how they actually are blind, and if you’re careful you can sneak by right in front of them.

    Also, how far into the game did people get before they realized that the Falmer and Thalmor were different?

    • Humanoid says:

      Actually I mostly confused the Falmer with the Forsworn. I mean they’re primitive peoples starting with ‘F’, how much more confusing can you get?

    • czhah says:

      This is the first Elder Scrolls game I’ve played, but I never mixed those two together.

      The dwemer dungeons did force you to go on a bit too long without a chance to visit a store, though.

    • Michael says:

      I thought the Rieklings were Falmer… back in Bloodmoon, when it was just people speculating that they were the last survivors of the Falmer. And the Falmer weren’t actually in the game. The Thalmor? Nope.

    • Like mumbles hate killing Falmer (and forsworn as well) so i sneak around them when i can. And yes it is very fun.

      Also how do you get the Falmer and Thalmor mixed up?

      • GM says:

        Falmor is number one Lydia killer,their poison keeps on working even when she´s recovering,on the floor.

        Forsworn only have those Briarhearth that are dangerous beside those,they are fun to kill.

        Heh Thalmor i just love to kill them each time i see one of them.

        • aldowyn says:

          I find forsworn deceptively difficult, actually. They must have high base skills, because even though their equipment is rubbish they HURT.

          • newdarkcloud says:

            No matter how strong they are, they are no match for FUS RO DAH!

          • Radio Silence says:

            The Forsworn do indeed run high skills, and a few of their members (briarhearts included) can deploy some of the most singularly dangerous offensive techniques in the game. It’s not usually an issue, but I’ve found that under the wrong circumstances a Forsworn dual wielding can effectively OHKO a player character in less than a second right through the resist caps and several hundred HP. Even if you’ve got some additional shielding either through blocking or magics I’ve seen them carve off a pretty alarming hunk of health on a maxed out character with top shelf gear.

            On the whole, they seem to play like glass cannons, particularly towards the late game: if you get them first, you have no problem and you can usually get them first, but if they manage to get a hold of you they’ve got mooks that can kill you harder than a Legendary Dragon.

            But they’re still less annoying than the Draugr’s All Skyrim National Harmonic Dragon Cult Praise Alduin Overlord’s Choir that shows up as you start approaching the level cap.

      • Jakale says:

        I first met the Falmer through the snow elf books, so I felt bad for them. That lasted until my first actual encounter, where they’d mined into a lighthouse and murdered and kidnapped the family there. That just isn’t cool. I killed my own race for less, Argonian at the time.

        Plus, I was a sneaky archer, but not good enough to kill them in one shot, so they’d magically home in on the exact spot I shot them from, even if it was the max range of my bow plus a cavern floor down and a few of those just annoyed any sympathy right out. This was also after a Thief playthrough, so I really felt I should not have been spotted. I wound up hunting them naked so I would be sneaky enough to get close, but I’d still have to back a room or two away because the AI always know where you shot them from, even, as I found out, when they aren’t blind cave dwellers with potentially exceptional hearing and smell.

        • aldowyn says:

          Huh, in my experience Skyrim usually is a strong proponent of Oblivion’s ‘must have been the wind’ approach to stealth archers.

          • Jakale says:

            Oh it was certainly that after I started moving half a room+ away from my shooting point, but they would always head over to the exact spot I shot from before doing any other looking around, so if I was hiding a few steps from there or was still standing there, assuming they wouldn’t walk so far, then I was going to get in a fight.

  3. Krlnkir says:

    To be fair, those goats are incredibly infuriating. Foxes and rabbits get out of the way quick, but goats just love to spin around and throw themselves under your feet.

    Speaking of giants, though, the greatest giant thing is the quest for the Orc stronghold southwest of Riften. The orc leader guy is an infuriating asshole who makes you help him do his divine giant-hunting quest. Once you’ve babysat him through a short cave, he then asks you to do the actual killing the giant part as well.
    Now, you’d expect there to be only one option there- but you can actually tell him to stop being a wimp, whereupon he verbally abuses you some more, then boasts that “this’ll be over in seconds”, runs up to the boss-giant
    and promptly gets launched into the stratosphere. Making his boast entirely accurate.
    You still have to kill the giant afterwards though, which is a shame.

  4. hborrgg says:

    Sam appears in taverns randomly!

  5. sdfq says:

    Am I the only person who didn’t care for ai companions? They were somewhat useful as packmules but other than that got more in the way than that they helped.

    And the whole marriage mechanic seemed especially weird and a bit creepy to me, because of the very reactive nature of npcs – basically it felt like “marrying” an automaton.

    • hborrgg says:

      Avoided them whenever possible. Too creepy to have them blankly staring at me all the time.

      • Tvtim says:

        The marrying npcs part was useful because if you slept in a bed with your spouse, you got a better +exp buff; 20% instead of 10% I think, and that buff stacked with your warrior/thief/mage stone buff so it was good for leveling up slow leveling skills. That and they sold junk out of your house and gave you some money when you visited, so there was that as well.

        As for companions: a decoy/pack mule was always useful to me since I picked up 85% of things I found.

    • czhah says:

      Based on my experiences with the recent fallout games, I pretty much ignored them. The only companion I had for any length of time was that immortal dog that was part of one of the daedric quests.

      • CLuhrsen says:

        I hated that dog. He pushed me off so many cliffs to my death.

        • czhah says:

          He did block doors far too often for my liking, but atleast I didn’t have to babysit him. I just don’t get why making the AI move out of the way when pushed is so bloody difficult.

        • Eruanno says:

          Gaaahhh fuck that dog. At first I thought “hey, a dog! He will be useful!” but then five minutes later he kept blocking my path, breaking stealth and was in general a huge pain in the ass so I went and finished his stupid quest just to get rid of him :C

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I didnt care for them either.Who needs companions when you can summon your own,from thin air?

      • Destrustor says:

        When you play a pure conjurer, where you only kill things with conjuration (either summoned creatures or bound weapons), you need all the help you can get. If you find a way to have five or six things fighting for you, you absolutely need them.

        Against dragons, anyway. Normal foes can be taken care of with just one or two dremora lords.

    • Same. I only took Lydia for a little while and then went solo after she dove in front of my fireballs for the fifth time and died.

      • Amnestic says:

        In the Dragonborn DLC there’s a special passive ability you can acquire which makes your followers immune to your shout damage, spells and attacks.

        I would’ve rather that be something you can toggle in the options menu personally, but at least they added it eventually…I guess?

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I basically never use companions. As a thief, they all end up getting in the way. You can’t use the tactic of “pop out, shoot, and hide again” with them since they immediately attack EVERYTHING.

      • aldowyn says:

        thieves also, oddly, usually end up with the most carrying capacity because A: there’s some feats (at least one maybe more) in the stealth part of the tree that raise it) and B: Fatigue (which also raises carrying capacity) is the stat given to said rogue part of the tree (they’re color coded – red for warrior/health, blue for mage/magicka and green for thief/stamina)

        *edit (yay!)* My point being the most valid reason to use a companion – needing a pack mule – is less necessary in addition to being more cumbersome for a stealthy/thief character.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          That’s true. I usually have a carrying capacity of at least 500 as a Thief.

          That’s thanks in part to Stamina boosts, (I usually stop leveling Magicka when it hits 150 or 200, since it’s only useful for healing/invisibility, so I have plenty of level ups for health/stamina), and the pickpocket perk “Extra Pockets”, and the Steed Stone.

        • Theminimanx says:

          Wait, leveling stamina gives you more carrying capacity? I did not know that.

          *Goes of to level stamina for the first time ever.*

  6. Raygereio says:

    Re: Where in the world is Sam Guevenne?
    Sam should spawn in the first inn or tavern you enter after reaching level 14.

    Also only horses you’ve bought from a stable and Shadowmere & Frost will stay where you leave them. Stolen or borrowed horses and the ones whose owners have passed away (and can be used without it being concidered a crime) will walk away.

    • Humanoid says:

      Okay, so murder the owners before taking their horses to ensure no crime is committed. Very handy tip.

    • Raygereio says:

      Fake edit because I can’t edit the original comment:
      Sam won’t spawn in the first inn or tavern you enter, but the first one you come near after reaching level 14.

    • Raygereio says:

      I was mistaken in my original post:
      Sam doesn’t spawn in the first inn or tavern you enter, but in the first inn or tavern you come near after reaching level 14.

      Edit: Ah, I thought I had already corrected myself. Apologies for the double post. I hadn’t noticed that my first correction post got swallowed by the moderation beast.

    • aldowyn says:

      Huh. I think I’ve actually run into him more than once in Ivarstead.

      Ivarstead, for those that don’t know/don’t remember, is the town at the bottom of the seven thousand steps.

      On reflection, this isn’t actually that surprising – there’s not much reason to go to Ivarstead after this point in the main quest (I think there’s a couple other reasons. One of the dark brotherhood marks is there, I believe), but it is immediately after a several-hour-long TREK from Whiterun, at about the right time (depending on your play style – some builds level faster)

      • Humanoid says:

        The main reason to never again want to go to Ivarstead is that there’s no bloody merchant in the whole town. Grrrarrrgh.

        • aldowyn says:

          Wait, really? I’m sure at the very least you can pawn some stuff off on the innkeeper, but they don’t usually have much money.

          Also I obviously wrote this before I watched the episode and realized they got to ivarstead (or, actually discussed Sam upon reaching it)

  7. Humanoid says:

    So yeah, I didn’t twig that Josh was the author of this post until well into the episode. I spent half of it wondering what was so bad about Shamus’ voice. (I spent the second half wondering what happened to Lydia and whether Josh had surreptitiously murdered her sometime during this or the previous episode. Then then zone transitioned and sanity sort of returned)

    In my defence, it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon and I’ve been awake for not much longer than an hour.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Dear everyone: I know Josh’s shenanigans are pretty hilarious. Please continue to encourage him. We don’t have to finish Skyrim this decade. There are more important things in life.”

    A sudden shift,but ok.Josh,go ahead and screw around this wast frozen world.We love it!

  9. Jumus says:

    Has there ever been a game where romantic relationships with the player actually felt like a relationship?
    Meaning you have to make efforts on the kind of person you are in order to keep your significant other content or be passive aggressive with each other ect?
    Fun Point: Mumbles reminds me of Toph from The Last Airbender

  10. Hitchmeister says:

    So, mammoth cheese, huh? Kind of makes me glad giants just punt you into orbit. If they were more reasonable, they could capture and enslave you and force you to milk their mammoths.

  11. Paul Spooner says:

    On the whole, ‘it’s strange how the only options are “shoot things with arrows, or shoot things with hammers” and “I kind of want to live there” instead of killing stuff’ topic.
    So many yes.
    Much yes.
    The above is probably the primary reason I don’t play Skyrim. It simultaneously looks so real, and feels so fake.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      Just like Campster said, this goes for Grand theft auto as well. I actually found it to be mildly entertaining in GTA to follow the traffic laws as much as possible. Stop at lights, stay in your lane, only pass cars in passing zones….it’s a fun little distraction.

      • Humanoid says:

        Then Euro Truck Simulator 2 is the game for you!

      • Adam says:

        THIS. It’s actually kind of shocking how differently I played Saint’s Row vs GTA IV. I thought I was sandboxing as the Boss, just having the time of my life, but when I made the transition to GTA’s more detailed world I realized I’d actually been RPing the Boss as the kind of deranged lunatic crime-lord the story painted him/her to be, just like I played Nico with the varying degrees of criminality he expressed. (eg: I’d obey the traffic laws and avoid hitting pedestrians unless I was under threat or had to chase someone; if the police were after me I’d use every dirty trick in the book to get away.) The Boss gives no shits about anyone ever, but Nico at least TRIES to be a good guy, even if instinct takes over and he starts killing people again as soon as the bullets start flying.

      • Thomas says:

        My brother likes driving properly on GTA too. I think for him it, he likes to make the world feel more real.

        I guess similarly, I’m so much in the habit of sleeping at night in New Vegas that I forgot that I don’t actually have a gameplay reason to do that. Of course you go to sleep, you’ve been walking all day

        • Gruhunchously says:

          This is actually an interesting question to put to the Spoiler Warning crew and/or the commenters at some point.

          Do you do strange things in RPGs and other games that have no gameplay value whatsoever but help maintain your sense of immersion, and what are they?

    • ET says:

      Well, it’s a sort of difficult problem to solve.
      I mean, the Errant Signal video on violence in videogames pretty well explained it:
      Our machines, and input devices are really well suited to making violence, compared to other forms of interaction.
      Plus, (and probably because of the above) the people and culture of game development just hasn’t had enough experience making non-violent videogames.

  12. McNutcase says:

    re mic issues: check for connection integrity. Is the plug in firmly? Have cats been chewing on the cord? If your mic can be unplugged from the headset, is it properly connected?

    Then, make sure you’ve had a clean boot after any driver updates. My graphics drivers kill my right audio channel when updated, for no readily apparent reason. Drivers are weird, man, much as anything kernel-level kinda has to be.

  13. anaphysik says:

    With robot-sounding like this, who needs Disclosure Alert?

    “Lizards – they’re not cows.”
    -The wise words chosen to be passed on to post-apocalyptic generations by Joshua the Glitched. Feynman would’ve chosen atomic theory, but hey, this works too.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Steal the bowl,and leave the coins behind.Dont you just love bethesda and their containers?

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Dat drowning!It was so worth waiting for a day to see that.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So when Josh finally climbed that high place with his horse,and started descending on the rocks,was anyone else cheering for the bug from before to repeat and for him to die again?

  17. ET says:

    Man, I didn’t even know such a thing as Skywind existed!
    I’m very excited to see that mod finished, since the Skyrim world, while reasonably fun and cool looking, is pretty much just Lord of the Rings with vikings.
    I really liked Morrowind’s giant mushrooms, floating gas-bag things, and giant fleas.
    Obviously there are some more normal-looking monsters in Morrowind, but it really does look and feel much more fresh and innovative.

    • kanodin says:

      More importantly it means a Morrowind where your sword doesn’t miss the cliff racer a million times because dicerolls.

      • ET says:

        I think I’m in the minority, in that I don’t hate dicerolls with a fiery passion.
        I mean sure, it’s a bit cheesy to miss a lot, but it’s also an abstraction, just as valid as hitpoints, stamina, skill percentages, etc.
        i.e. You’re missing your target, by a combination of your (lack of) skill, the target’s size, its movement, and how hard its skin or shell is.

        • Humanoid says:

          The problem is not with hit rolls per se, but that they created an abominable hybrid between manual strikes combat with hit rolls. Either expect the player to connect themselves, or just have them choose a target and swing automatically. Pick one or the other or end up with a lame bastardised system which pisses off proponents of both sides.

          • ET says:

            Personally, I’d be happy if they just lowered the miss percentages.
            One thing I do like is that there’s no gear repairing/wearing.
            I mean…that just made looting a nightmare in Morrowing and Fallout 3/New Vegas. :S

          • aldowyn says:

            I’ve mentioned this. It’s also an issue with some lockpicking and/or hacking minigames. You basically have to have the character succeed, and then the player too.

            Imagine if in a lockpicking minigame you picked the lock, and THEN it checked the character’s stats. That wouldn’t go well.

            Funnier: Imagine if stats just made it *easier*, but if you didn’t have high enough stats, you could try the minigame – it was just impossible.

            That seems positively evil :D

            • If you stink at lockpicking, you get your strength up so you can just break the thing.

              It’s kind of like how in recent Bethesda games they’ve added perks that make up for both the bad AI and the tendency for players to unload attacks that wipe out their companions by reducing damage to allies.

        • Neko says:

          I liked Morrowind combat too. It’s true that you feel quite pathetic at the beginning, but that just makes it more satisfying when you’ve buffed yourself up the wazoo and are getting critical hits all over the place. I had a two-handed sword that I enchanted with On hit: Chameleon 100% on Self for 1 second. Because I was invisible at the moment the blade connected, it was juicy critical strikes every time.

        • Eruanno says:

          It really depends on the game for me. If you’re standing close enough to someone to lick them in the nostril and the game decides that you arbitrarily missed, I’ll be pissed.

          If it’s something more akin to VATS in Fallout or the way X-Com plays, that’s fine in my book.

    • Amnestic says:

      I’m skeptical about Skywind. I really hope it comes out and is good, but so many of these “convert old game to new engine” projects seem to fall flat at some point – even ones that show real signs of finishing.

      • czhah says:

        Well, they do take a lot of time and effort. Sometimes there are effectively insurmountable technical obstacles as well. I think Icewind Gate, a project to convert BGII to IWD2 engine, suffered such a fate and never got past beta.

        • Humanoid says:

          Off the top of my head, the only one I can remember going final is Ultima 5 Lazarus, which was U5 done in the Dungeon Siege engine of all things.

        • Amnestic says:

          Exactly – they’re a huge undertaking for an unpaid fan audience. I don’t know how long Skywind has been in production for, but according to their FAQ “As of now, Skywind mostly just consists of landscape and static meshes, but we are currently working on getting all of the quests, npcs, weapons, creatures, etc. working correctly,”

          Which is great, they’ve got the base stuff sorted, but implementing all the quests and the like is perhaps the larger challenge.

          Like I said, I hope it gets finished because it sounds awesome and I’d love to play it, but I’m not optimistic. Rarely do these things work out. Maybe this will be one of the few exceptions. If so? Awesome.

  18. Tony Kebell says:

    Rutskarn, YOU MUST! Provide voice work for Skywind.
    MUST!

    • Humanoid says:

      I think the project needs to be forked, with one version having Rutskarn do *all* the voice work.

    • I think Rutskarn needs to voice a magic sword: The Rutz +5 Holy Impinger. All of the sound effects made by the weapon would be him saying things like “clang,” “slice,” and “parry.” He’d have idle chat that would be triggered by features in the landscape, mostly taking the form of puns. Certain armor/clothing combinations would elicit comment from the Impinger as well. Interactions with NPCs and visiting specific areas will cause the blade to launch into long yet amusing lessons on history, analysis of lore, and how the mighty magic weapon would love to visit the sacred shrine of Del Taco.

      Some might find the sword annoying, but its combat bonuses make it difficult to relinquish. Selling it isn’t always a sure means of escape, as it might find its way back into their inventory. The appearance of a bounty for theft is purely coincidental, as the Impinger will tell you.

      With enough skill, the Rutz +5 could perform speech checks, tell you when quests aren’t worth it, and advise that certain NPCs should just be murdered rather than allowed to pollute your quest log with their idiotic tasks.

      This must happen. Someone must forge the Rutz +5 Holy Impinger. The gods of Tamriel are silent to my cries, but perhaps… you? Yes, you. Undertake this quest and make this a reality.

      No? Too bad. I already put it in your log.

  19. Henson says:

    I can’t say I’ve seen that ‘floating townsfolk’ bug. The one that I see all the time is where the corpses of the dragons I’ve slain warp in nearby. The river in Iverstead got clogged with two of them.
    On the plus side, if I ever need dragon scales, I shouldn’t have to travel very far.

    • aldowyn says:

      :O you don’t compulsively carry every dragon crafting material you have even though you will probably get enough to make every dragonbone item 5 times over by the time of the main quest?

      Remarkable!

      (seriously, it’s an issue in the beginning – those dragon bones are HEAVY and it’s hard to lug 75 pounds around before I get a house)

  20. noahpocalypse says:

    Actually, I would think that more people would want to voice Gaenor, the little Daedric wood elf bastard ticking time bomb in Tribunal. I’d certainly love the novelty of thousands of people cursing the sound of my voice.

  21. newdarkcloud says:

    Would it really matter who’s the “beefiest beefcake” in Skyrim?

    After all, literally every single dude in Skyrim has six-pack abs. Every. Single. One. Even the mages who supposedly don’t exercise.

  22. Thanks for answering my question, Spoiler Warning cast! (I’m @JellyJiggler69, the guy who asked the first question)

  23. McNutcase says:

    The finisher cam is getting… odd. I mean, the suplexes are great, if illogical, but this episode sees it lovingly follow an arrow as Catbert shoots it perfectly up the exit of a goat’s alimentary tract from fifty yards. Almost as stupid as the time it gave me a cinematic moment as I flamethrowered a bunny. And why is it, when you kill things by burning them to death, they don’t drop cooked meat? I just magic!napalmed this rabbit, how is its leg still raw?

    Which is another way of saying man, I love when the cast goes into free-association mode, especially when someone tunes it out and has NO idea how to respond when they start listening again.

    Doesn’t Caius Cosades give you his shirt when he leaves? I seem to remember him giving me a shirt as well as his trousers (THANKS, dude) and maybe a ring? Had something like a 20% chameleon enchantment on it, and with the right other items you could rook the game solid by going around with a constant effect adding up to 100% chameleon…

    You know what I really want? I want a fantasy game that treats its world like Saints Row. One that knows it’s stupid, and uses its stupidity to good effect. Give me a chain of flesh-sculpting mages so I can reimagine my character every couple of hours. Give me carts to drive, that blow up for no adequately explained reason. Give me horsejacking, an Awesome Button that does whatever you were doing but with more awesomeness. Give me taking over each faction by gleefully murdering my way up its ranks with steadily more-improbable versions of a crossbow. Give me a healing mage who wants me to pretend to hurt myself as advertising. And give me Rebecca Sanabria as a choice for the protagonist’s voice actor.

  24. The Rocketeer says:

    Truly, the forbidden romance between Nere-kun and Kayuso-senpai shall remain a tale to endure the ages.

    But now I really, really want to play a game called, “BRING ME THE BLOOD OF A MOTHERFUCKER”.

  25. Thoughts during thur epersode:

    – Now I wanna know what quest Mumbles was on and the character she was playing, so I can draw that entire scenario.

    – Josh apparently is unaware that vanilla Skyrim’s arrows don’t work past a certain distance unless you adjust a specific view distance setting in one of the ini files. One of the first things I had to look up when I started playing the game…

    – I guess when yer a low enough level, the wisp witch doesn’t show up on that pass towards Ivarstead.

    – Now I wanna know HOW Mumbles got that lizard fucker outta the cave, cause I absolutely could NOT get him outta there…EVAR. Every goddamn time in every play through, getting him out the door was a pain the ass that eventually required dicking with the console.

  26. Nick Powell says:

    Level up!

  27. Phantos says:

    Seeing Josh intentionally screw around and fail just to make the rest of the SW crew mad makes me think you guys need to do a one-off Spoiler Warning where he plays Tetris.

    I bet he can go a whole hour without getting a single line cleared, just out of spite.

    Makes me gitty just thinking about it.

  28. brunothepig says:

    Huh. So Caius Cossades was undercover as a junkie? I always assumed he really was just a creepy skooma addict, high-functioning I guess.

  29. KremlinLaptop says:

    Let’s watch Josh dick around for 60+ episodes! I love it. Also I’m really happy that Mumbles is back for this season. I’ve missed the commentary of irate female Christopher Walken.

  30. acronix says:

    I wonder, who is the most hated follower in Skyrim? I really hated the Riften mage hireling, for example, and Lydia’s awful tone on “I’m sworn to carry your burdens”. But I imagine Mjoll and the priest of Mara in Dawnstar could give them a run for their money thanks to their constant and repetitive banter.

    • Amnestic says:

      Dark Brotherhood Spoilers: Cicero. Seriously, that guy? Worst.

      • Arven says:

        As much as I like him, I have to agree with this. Because he always blabbers about spider eating his face whenever told to wait. And he doesn’t actually wait until his dialogue is done even though I already exit the conversation, making me waste a lot of time.

    • czhah says:

      It seems unlikely that any one follower would be particularly hated, since you aren’t really forced to have them along for extended periods of time, nor do they really make the game any easier. It’s easier to see players starting to loathe characters they are made endure through most of the game, whether they wan’t them around or not.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think Lydia is the most hated simply because she’s the one everyone gets really early on.

      • Torsten says:

        It’s interesting how Hjordis from Solitude, who is basically just Lydia with blonde hair and ever flatter line delivery, is hardly ever mentioned neither as hated nor liked companion.

        • czhah says:

          Maybe people just don’t know she exists. I mean I’ve put more hours into the game than I’d care to admit, but this is the first time I’ve heard of her.

        • acronix says:

          I like Hjordis, but the house she comes in is kinda expensive and not very practical.

          And also because her “let’s exchange equipment” line is better. While Lydia’s dialogue is delivered as a “Ugh, I don’t wanna, but I took an oath about carrying your burdens…and I guess I should interpret it literally…ugh!”, Hjordis’ delivery is more “Sure, no problem! It’s my job.”

          It’s incredible how much the tone and way of saying a line affects it.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Yet, as everyone does get her early on, one of the most-used as well.
        As such she had a slew of dialogue added when Dragonborn rolled around. I also hear one of the guys from Dragonborn has a ton of contextual dialogue as well.

        • Every so often I hear praise for Dragonborn and think, “Maybe it’s time I checked that out.”

          Then I see the DLC has a price tag of 20 bucks. Even for a game I loved (Fallout New Vegas), I didn’t pay more than 10. Screw you, Bethesda.

          • Shamus says:

            Ugh. I just ran into this last night. I thought I’d get the DLC just to have a look. Then I saw the price tag. It’s about double what seems reasonable. No thanks.

            That’s an especially hard sell with Skyrim, when there are so many content-rich mods out there for free.

            • Ringwraith says:

              Bethesda also apparently don’t do 75% off DLC anymore, I noticed this in the last Steam sale.
              They put 66% off the Game + All DLC bundle instead, which usually makes it cheaper to buy that (and thus the entire game again) then two bits of DLC which are half off.
              It’s ridiculous.

              • It’s hard to pass up even bad DLC because a mod you might want to try uses the assets from it.

                …which I’m sure isn’t part of Bethesda’s business plan. Heck, they could probably just sell an “assets pack” of random models & meshes that would sell at $20 per just because someone, somewhere would use it in a halfway-decent mod.

    • Alex says:

      Serana is simultaneously the best and the worst follower. I like the character and mostly like the advanced AI they gave to the NPC, but at times she refuses to take no for an answer. Sometimes you want to head on alone to sort something out, and she’s the only follower who will refuse to stay put until you return. It would be better if you could just ask her for ten minutes to do your thing before she comes looking for you.

      • Disc says:

        “she’s the only follower who will refuse to stay put until you return.”

        I think she only does that during certain quests in Dawnguard where she’s heavily involved with the scripting. That’s everything involving Soul Cairn and the whole hunt for Auriel’s Bow at the least. As I recall, you can’t even tell her to bugger off during them. Not sure how strict the final battles are, though she’s involved in the very final fight against Harkon at either side. Could be you’re stuck with her, starting from the quest to search for her mother, until the very end of the DLC.

        That aside, she does get kinda grating after a while.

        At first it’s something like this:

        Yeah I get it Serana, you don’t like caves.
        I know you’re a vampire, you don’t need to keep telling me about your relationship with the freaking sun.
        Yeah, I know the weather sucks, I’m right fucking here.

        Then it’s like
        Serana: “Bla bla bla bitching about something bla bla bla.”
        Me: You know, I don’t really give a shit.

        And then I keep ignoring her and eventually ditch her complaining ass at the Fort and never come back.

        • Alex says:

          The only comment that bugs me is the “Yes? What did you need?” line. The others are fine, because she doesn’t say them every five seconds if someone bumps her into your personal space while you’re talking to someone else.

          • Disc says:

            Well, it’s where I got for having her around for however long it took me to get Dawnguard from start to finish and some extra stuff I did between the DLC quests. Roughly estimated that would be around 15-20 hours of gameplay at least.

            And your post also reminded me of all the times she’d keep griefing me in mid-conversation by pushing my character or the NPC I’m talking to around because of her unique habit of wandering around and interacting with nearby objects when idling (and doing the occasional weird shit like suddenly starting casually to do the Dark Brotherhood ritual inside the Arentino house minus the chanting). Common fucking courtesy just isn’t her thing.

        • Trix2000 says:

          What I found most annoying about her was her penchant for raising corpses that I hadn’t looted yet, forcing me to re-kill them to get my loot.

          • Destrustor says:

            She literally raises every dead thing she sees.
            A dead draugr? okay, I guess it’s good.
            Another draugr five feet away, uselessly wasting the first one’s she raised all of six seconds ago? Now you’re exaggerating, girl.
            OMG a dead fox, totally useless in combat and who will die as soon as any enemy looks at it wrong? We need to talk, Serana. You need an intervention.

          • Alex says:

            True, that was a little annoying.

            Ix-nay on the ecromancy-nay. I’m trying to keep a low profile here!

  31. Grudgeal says:

    Listening to this episode just made me realise that Skyrim is basically Munchkin: The cRPG.

    Which explains so much.

  32. Hal says:

    Okay, since you’re mentioning Frostfall, a question:

    How do you join the Stormcloaks with that mod active? The preliminary quest has you go to the very northeastern most point of the map to kill an ice wraith. I imagine that’s the coldest part of the map, but then you pretty much have to swim to get there, which also features into the mod.

    How do you survive that?

  33. TMTVL says:

    So, at one point in the episode Josh is arrowing a bandit, and she goes “We’re routed.” Now, I’ve had opponents give up before in Skyrim, but I tend to just kill dudes I can’t avoid. So I’m wondering…

    If an enemy is routed, do they just wait a few seconds before attacking again, or do they really leave you alone?

  34. TouToTheHouYo says:

    I find Skyrim – and by extension the Elder Scrolls series as a whole – to be much the same a EVE Online: A fascinating world focused on player agency where fantastic things can happen. Something I love to occasionally hear about, read, or watch, but can never seem to care enough to play.

    At least Skyrim doesn’t have a 90° learning curve, so should I ever take the plunge I might actually be able to play it.

  35. djshire says:

    So if you put containers on a bunch of NPCs heads, pushed them all together, and then knocked them down with Fus Ro Dah, would that be bowling?

  36. Hey Josh, here’s a gift for you, your very own shout:

    Josh-vræl-vri

    Josh = Josh, seemingly harmless at first glance, often humorous.
    Vræl = Shout/shriek/cry in Norwegian, can be annoying at times and loud.
    Vri = Norwegian word that can mean turned/twisted/opposite/changed, usually harmless and makes something that is otherwise normal seem a tad different.

    But combine these to a shout and all hell breaks loose, Josh style.

    Here is a typical reaction of someone who would hear this shout: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream

    PS! Vræl is also a dictionary word and can be used in Scrabble and Wordfeud, for those looking for an edge to win.

    josh (jŏsh)
    v. joshed, josh·ing, josh·es
    v.tr. To tease (someone) good-humoredly.
    v.intr. To make or exchange good-humored jokes; banter. See Synonyms at banter.
    n. A teasing or joking remark.

    vræl = hollering (ʋɾæːl)
    noun neuter
    loud scream, roar a howl of pain

    vri = twist (ʋɾiː)
    noun masculine
    1 twisting; the plank had a little twist in the end.
    2 variation; try a new twist

    And just for the record, I suspect that Josh is actually Loke (in Norse: Loki) in disguise. Interestingly enough Loki is sometimes refered to as using the word “lopt” (which is a old Norse word for “air”) and sometimes “Hveðrungr” (which is old Norse for monster), so Loki is either a skating term (monster air) or could more likely mean a godly shout/voice/whisper as well depending on interpretation.
    Incidentally “god” in old Norse is “áss” and yes that is possibly where the expression “asshole” comes from, then again the Norse word for “love” is “ást”, so the phrase “loveable asshole” is possibly derived from those words I guess. *shrug*, it certainly seems fitting for Loki (as portrayed by Tom Hiddleston) at least.

    What was I talking about again?….Oh look, brown cheese: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunost

  37. Lotus Gramarye says:

    I just started watching these videos so I don’t know if it’s been mentioned there or said in the comments, but a really great program for mods is the Mod Organizer. http://sourceforge.net/projects/modorganizer/ With it you can turn select mods on and off at will, and you don’t put them in the data folder so things don’t get cluttered as all hell. Great if you’re using a ton of mods.

    • aldowyn says:

      wait, there’s TWO programs that do that for Skyrim?

      The one I’ve heard of is the Nexus Mod Manager, which not only does Skyrim but … a lot of others (including all the ones that link mentions)

  38. Mike O says:

    I always assumed that the Mammoth Cheese was like head cheese from a pig, and not a dairy product at all.

  39. default_ex says:

    If those mic is USB it could be that it’s being forced to operate at a frequency outside of it’s intended range. Tends to happen with modern mice and keyboards when there are bugs in the USB hub driver or the USB controller itself. Solutions for that are either move the mic to a different USB hub (front/side should be on separate hub from back of PC) or use a Windows registry hack to force a specific frequency on the device having trouble (never tried this, but it used to work really well for gamers on Windows XP).

  40. ObsidianNebula says:

    Mumbles: “If you’re going to play the drinking game, do it with apple juice.”
    Me: “Oh my gosh that is literally what I’ve been doing!!”

    Part of it is being underage, part of it is knowing there was only one way this could work out.

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